A digital collage of piles of different materials.

Carolyn Janssen

Artist in Residence, 2015

Artist Statement

Adopting the sprawl of the historic landscape, I create mural-sized digital works that exist as photographic and painterly hybrids. Framed as psychedelic Photoshop objects, these images feature über-universes that reference the sublime landscape, digital kitsch, miniaturized science fiction tableaus, and religious mortality tales. Built from elements gleaned from personal snapshots, I use individual objects as brushstrokes, building each scene mark by mark. I utilize the “photoshoppy-ness” of the software program the same way a painter  might manipulate the inherent qualities of paint, saturating, abusing, and “anointing” in order to achieve a hyper-superficial, aesthetic surface pleasure. Populating these worlds are figures engaging in ritualistic narratives and mini-dramas, creating uncanny and fetishized scenes that examine the blurred borders of gender, desire, and materiality.

While At Headlands

I will be focusing on the production of a commissioned work for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Providing a contemporary take on Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, I will reimagine the work from a distinctly gendered and performative perspective, exploring the materiality of narration, mythology, and technology. You will find me at Headlands creating and photographing constructed sets, self portraits, and small sculptures, as well as digitally stitching and weaving the image tapestry. It’s my intention to investigate Bosch’s original masterpiece with a fresh reconceptualization, as I explore issues of love, suffering, death, decay, intimacy, and the unknown.